Stock Futures Tick Up as Traders Digest Data

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U.S. stock-index futures climbed Tuesday as traders digested a round of mixed economic data and solid corporate earnings.

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Today's Markets

As of 9:04 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 22 points to 15540, S&P 500 futures rose 2 points to 1761 and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 4 points to 3387.

The broad S&P 500 ticked up to a fresh all-time closing high on Monday. The rosy sentiment pervaded into Tuesday after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) posted better-than-expected quarterly profits and revenues, and a current-quarter sales estimates that beat Wall Street's expectations. However, the world's biggest tech company's gross margin forecast came in shy of estimates, putting a cap on shares.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), meanwhile, revealed quarterly profits that beat expectations, but sales that were slightly light.

The economic docket is heavy on the day.

The Commerce Department said retail sales fell 0.1% in September, missing expectations they would rise by the same margin. Excluding the auto segment, sales rose 0.4%, matching expectations.

The closely-watched S&P/Case-Shiller home-price report prices in 20 major U.S. cities rose 1.3% in August, from the month prior, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Economists expected prices to rise 0.8%. Prices were up 12.8% from the year prior.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported wholesale inflation fell 0.1% in September, missing expectations it would rise 0.2%. Excluding the food and energy segment, prices rose 0.1%, matching economists’ expectations.

All these reports come as the Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day policy-setting meeting. Economists widely expect the central bank to hold off from tapering its vast bond-buying program until the economy strengthens further -- perhaps in December or March.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures fell 74 cents, or 0.74%, to $97.95 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline slid 1.3% to $2.598 a gallon. Gold slumped $8.70, or 0.64%, to $1,343 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 jumped 0.65% to 3042, the English FTSE 100 gained 0.56% to 6763 and the German DAX advanced 0.25% to 9001.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 0.49% to 14325 and the Chinese Hang Seng edged up by 0.18% to 22847.

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